Palestine warns against moving British embassy to Jerusalem: Saudi Arabia revives the Arab peace initiative

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Taghreed Saadeh

The State of Palestine reaffirmed today that respecting the special status of Jerusalem is an integral part of the universally recognized rights of the Palestinian people, including the right to self-determination.

“The international community’s position on Jerusalem is clear: Israel has no rightful claim or sovereignty over Jerusalem, including occupied East Jerusalem, its Old City and its holy sites,” said the Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates in a statement.

The statement added, “Israel, the occupying Power, has no authority to engage in diplomatic relations or invite States to open diplomatic offices in any part of the City.”

Since 1947, the UN Security Council and General Assembly have conclusively and authoritatively determined the international legal status of Jerusalem, the obligations of States to uphold this status, and the illegality of relocating embassies and diplomatic offices to Jerusalem.

The International Court of Justice also reaffirmed in its advisory opinion on the Israeli Apartheid Wall that Israel’s presence in Jerusalem is that of an occupying power.

“Israel’s presence as an occupying Power is an established and unassailable legal fact that infers legal, political, and moral obligations on all States, especially Permanent Members of the Security Council,” said the Foreign Ministry

“Accordingly, opening an embassy in Jerusalem, or establishing a mission on the basis of diplomatic relations with Israel, in any part of Jerusalem, is a de facto and de jure recognition of Israel’s ongoing and unlawful actions,” it added.

The statement pointed out that “opening an embassy in Jerusalem amounts to complicity in Israel’s illegal annexation of the city and relentless attempts to assert sovereignty, including through war crimes of forcible displacements, demolitions, and control over holy sites.”

“In this connection, the State of Palestine affirms that it will pursue all available legal, diplomatic, and political measures to ensure that Jerusalem and its status are protected.”

Statement issued over reports that British Prime Minister Liz Truss was studying relocating her country’s embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

A Palestinian Authority official said the Palestinian leadership has not received an official statement from the British government regarding the relocation of the embassy.

It warned that such “dangerous” moves would have a negative impact on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Last night Abbas office said that the Palestinian president met Truss, who are both in New York to attend the annual United Nations General Assembly session.

During the meeting Abbas stressed the Palestinian position on the necessity of achieving a just and lasting peace in accordance with the United Nations resolutions leading to the establishment of the independent state of Palestine with East Jerusalem as its capital on the 1967 borders.

“The announcement by the British Prime Minister Liz Truss about her intention to move her country’s embassy to Jerusalem is a flagrant bias toward the occupation,” said Hamas spokesperson Abdel Latif Qanou.

He warned that the move would not give Israel any legitimacy “over one inch of our land.”

Islamic Jihad senior official Mohammed Shalah said, “we are not surprised by what Britain is doing in light of the ongoing Arab and Islamic silence,” “We blame the Arab and Islamic countries that are supposed to support Jerusalem.”

Meanwhile, the Group of Friends in Defense of the Charter of the United Nations unanimously confirmed today its commitment to achieving justice for the Palestinian people and fulfilling their inalienable rights to freedom and justice. It also affirmed its commitment to ending the historical injustice the has befallen the Palestinian people since 1948 until now.

The declaration was made in a joint communique released by the countries participating in the annual ministerial meeting of the Group of Friends in Defense of the Charter of the United Nations, which was held in New York today on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly’s 77th session.

The communique of the Group, according to a statement by the Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, stressed the importance of ending the Israeli colonial occupation and apartheid regime and building an independent State of Palestine with Jerusalem as its capital.

Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud and the Secretary-General of the Arab League Ahmad Aboul Gheit yesterday convened a round table meeting of the members of the Arab Peace Initiative Committee and other international stakeholders on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the Saudi launch of the Arab Peace Initiative.

The meeting was held on the sidelines of the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York and in the absence of prospects for a political solution to end the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, the alarming deterioration in the humanitarian situation and the growing threats with the rapid growth of illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories, and fears of a new wave of violence endangering the security and stability of the region.

The meeting aims to work with regional and international partners to shed light on the tragic situation of the Palestinians in light of the deadlock in the peace process and the absence of any glimmer of hope, and to urge them to take practical steps to support the resumption of dialogue on the basis of the Arab Peace Initiative, United Nations resolutions and relevant peace references, in addition to reviving the diplomatic track to overcome the despair and lack of a vision toward achieving the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people and establishing their state with Jerusalem as its capital.

Participating in the round table discussion included the members of the Arab Peace Initiative Committee (Jordan, Egypt, Bahrain, Tunisia, Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Iraq, Palestine, Qatar, Lebanon, Morocco, Yemen, Kuwait), European countries sponsoring peace in the Middle East (Spain, Sweden, France), the Secretary-General of the Gulf Cooperation Council, the Secretary-General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, the European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, and the European Union and the United Nations envoys for the peace process.

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